Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 13 Hansard (4 December) . . Page.. 4393 ..
MS FOLLETT (continuing):
Mr ... has been largely vindicated by the decision of the Tribunal ... If the Tribunal had the power to order costs, this is plainly a case in which it would have been proper to order the respondent Agency to pay the greater part of the applicant's costs of the appeal.
He went on later:
In the circumstances, I think it appropriate that I should recommend to the Attorney-General that the Government consider paying part of Mr ... costs in respect of these proceedings.
Minister, given that this is a most unusual recommendation for the Administrative Appeals Tribunal to make, my question is: Will the Government meet the costs of the appellant in this case? If so, what will be the sum involved?
MR HUMPHRIES: I thank Ms Follett for that question. I have seen some advice from my department about that matter. I believe that there was some advice about ongoing action in respect of that matter. My impression from the advice, which I saw some months ago, is that there are further issues still before courts in respect of that same matter. However, I do not have with me a brief on the issues Ms Follett has raised. I am very happy to take it on notice and give her a reply as soon as possible.
MR OSBORNE: My question is to the Minister for Sport, Mr Stefaniak. Minister, I refer to my question a couple of weeks ago as to the Government's intention to reduce the level of watering applied to sportsgrounds and ovals to achieve a possible annual saving of about $260,000. Can you confirm, Minister, that you have met with Mr Keith McIntyre, an internationally recognised expert in turf management, who, you indicated when I spoke to you, may have a few good ideas? As a result of that meeting, have you agreed to abandon this cost saving proposal to reduce the current levels of watering and reinstate full watering as of last week?
MR STEFANIAK: Mr Osborne, I am pleased to note that we did have a very productive meeting with not only Keith McIntyre, who, certainly, is most experienced in the area, but also officers from the bureau and Geoff Ellis, the 2IC of OFM. As a result of that meeting, we have sorted out the current problem of watering. I stressed to you last time that the reduction was only in terms of, "We would do it if it was not going to hurt ovals; and if we needed to increase the watering, we would". In fact, we have been pretty lucky to date, too, in having had a fairly wet season, but we are coming into a much drier patch. Watering is, certainly, back at full strength, Mr Osborne; and that is important. As you said, there were some very good ideas there - you are probably well aware of some of them - and there are some excellent ideas about how we can better manage our sportsgrounds quite efficiently, which involve sensible cost savings and more efficient management of the sportsgrounds generally.